I am amazing at procrastinating. Seriously, I think it is my greatest talent. The dishes need doing? But boooooks! I should be writing? But Twitterrrrr! I haven’t eaten anything today and it’s almost 6PM? But video gaaaaames!
Since I now work at home, and I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder, I have had to find a way to get past my procrastinating ways. This whole writing for a living thing won’t happen if I cannot focus and get my work done!
First I tried tracking my hours. I made a spreadsheet on Google Drive (I still want to call it Google Docs) and I had different categories (Writing, editing, research, social media, etc…) and I would track how much time I spent each day doing each item on the list. This worked for a while but I began getting lazy with it and my whole system fell apart. Next I tried putting stickers on a calendar for every hour I spent writing. And just like before, it worked at first and then gradually I stopped putting stickers on the calendar and – poof!- this stopped working too.
The next thing I tried was actually something that my husband came across. He showed me and I have been in love with it ever since. It is an app called HabitRPG. Basically I input habits, “dailies”, and to-dos. As I check off the things I have completed, I gain money and experience. If I miss a daily or do one of my negative habits, I lose hit points. It makes daily life seem like an adventure! Okay, slightly exaggerated, but it does make me feel like I am quantifiably completing tasks.
The experience is then used to level up (and apparently you can go on quests on the web application but I haven’t tried that yet) and the gold is used to buy weapons and armour. You can also buy health potions for if you have been slacking lately. If weapons and armour aren’t your thing, you can create your own rewards that you can use gold to purchase. For example, you could have “watch an episode of Doctor Who” as a reward, or “eat a chocolate bar”.
I love RPG’s, so this has turned out to be the best habit producing and procrastinating killing app for me!
Oh, and it’s free!
What are some of your techniques for avoiding procrastination and forming good habits?